During the mid-1800s traveling theater companies visited the settlements of the frontier, entertaining audiences with everything from variety shows to the plays of English author William Shakespeare. Many performances today take place in those same venues, such as Central City Opera House, which opened in 1878, where Central City Opera performs. Most of the major cities have classical ensembles, including the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, in Denver.
Much of the state’s enthusiasm for the arts is celebrated during musical and theatrical festivals throughout the year. The Aspen Music Festival began in the late 1940s as a tribute to the German poet and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Held each summer, the festival brings together an illustrious array of musicians who perform in the city’s variety of concert halls and outdoor venues. Boulder celebrates the music of Austrian composer and conductor Gustav Mahler at the Colorado MahlerFest. The January event features performances by nationally known musicians as well as lectures. Founded in 1976 by a local musician, the Colorado Music Festival boasts its own orchestra consisting of professional musicians, many of them principal players in leading orchestras from throughout the world. The festival season runs from June to August in Boulder.
Theater performances are presented regularly at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, as well as at many other venues in the state. Founded in 1958, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival is held from June to August at the Mary Rippon Theatre, built in 1939 in Boulder.
The small mountain town of Telluride hosts several music and film festivals. The annual Telluride Film Festival features the work of independent and foreign filmmakers and often honors actors and directors who have made significant contributions to the film industry. "Colorado" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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